“Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength. “ – Betty Friedan.
Today people are deathly afraid of aging and lost time. It might be that people are afraid of growing old, and losing their ability to do as they please, or it could be an underlying fear of death. Overall, aging is a pretty scary thing, but it’s not the loss of youth. It truly is a new opportunity to excel and gain strength. You can practice a healthy lifestyle and make 50 the new 35!
Ready to take on father time for real? I mean, we’re here to get our money’s worth and this exercise is a fantastic way to start! Recently neuroscientists deemed this exercise as the most effective one for slowing down aging – and don’t panic; it’s not pushups. Whew!
As we grow older we are at risk for many more deadly diseases, conditions, and living disorders. It really all comes down to the lifestyle in which you live if you ask me. However, neuroscientists from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases published a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience revealing that the number one exercise to prevent you from age-related disease and disorders is dancing!
Dancing is fun and we can all get into the groove of some kind of music, whether you admit it or not! The study revealed that older people who routinely took an exercise dancing class can reverse signs of aging in the brain! The primary difference between dancing and regular physical exercise is that dancing forces you to remember dance routines and patterns!
The researchers performed their study with 52 healthy elderly volunteers from the ages of 63-80. The individuals were then randomly placed in experimental dance groups and group sports. The dance groups were required to learn situations with constant changing choreography and the participants had to precisely remember them.
Dr. Rehfeld explains, “We tried to provide our seniors with the dance group with constantly changing dance routines of different genres (Jazz, Square, Latin-American and Line Dance). Steps, arm-patterns, formations, speed, and rhythms were changed every second week to keep them in a constant learning process. The most challenging aspect for them was to recall the routines under the pressure of time and without any cues from the instructor.”
The sports group were required to perform endurance training, strength endurance training, and flexibility training. While both groups showed an increase in the hippocampus region of the brain, the dance group showed significantly higher volumes in more subfields of the left hippocampus! The dance group was also the only ones to have an increase in the Subiculum sub-region of the right hippocampus!
So maybe the best way to overcome your fear of aging is by dancing it away! Dancing is fun, awesome, and great for us in so many ways. It allows us to form relationships, social interaction, and it even releases endorphins! So this weekend get out there and dance… or face father time!